Hibs boss Neil Lennon revealed he has “volumes of sympathy” for his Easter Road predecessor Alan Stubbs, sacked after just 14 matches in charge of English Championship side Rotherham United.
Stubbs took charge of The Millers only days after guiding Hibs to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years, but was dismissed on Wednesday having just won just one game, leaving the Yorkshire outfit five points adrift at the bottom of the league.
But today Lennon insisted Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart had acted too hastily, adamant Stubbs hadn’t been given a chance to stamp his mark on his new club.
He said: “Alan goes in there after leaving a good legacy at Hibs and is given a three-year contract. Then after 14 games he is gone. I don’t understand it.
“What chance has he had to lay the foundations or alter the style of play? I realise it’s a results-driven business, but it’s not just Alan – it’s guys like Roberto di Matteo [at Aston Villa] or Paul Trollope [at Cardiff] who have gone even earlier. It’s just ridiculous.”
Lennon, who himself saw his move to Bolton Wanderers turn sour, firmly believes that given time Stubbs would have turned around the fortunes of a club which finished fourth bottom of the Championship last season.
He said: “Alan had every right to believe he would be given the time to get it right, he signed a three-year contract to build something, to change the club.
“People might say, ‘he’ll be alright, he’ll get paid up and get some money’, but that’s not the way he wants it. Like every manager he wants to work, it’s their career.
“But we live in an atmosphere in football where if it’s not fast food, instant results, then people turn on you quickly. There’s no patience.
“It’s a culture of panic and it’s not a good environment to work in. It becomes more stressful. You are analysed, day in, day out, through social media and fans’ forums and it all builds and builds. It snowballs so quickly when you are in that division.
“We’ll never know how it would have turned out, but I have a lot of sympathy for him and many other managers who have been the victim of that.
“Alan and his coaching staff [John Doolan and Andy Holden, his assistants, were also sacked] have sacrificed a lot.
“They have given up a life in Edinburgh at a good club – I can understand why they felt they needed to take that opportunity – to go to Yorkshire and now they need to start all over again.
“And where does it leave the players he has brought in. You go there perhaps on the back of seeing Alan as someone they want to work with.
“It isn’t good for the players, the club and certainly not for Alan and his coaching staff.”
Lennon believes club chairmen and their fellow directors should take a closer look at the part they play in such a situation.
He said: “You go in there with ideas and plans that, when they were interviewed, the chairmen and chief executives have supported. Then that support goes within three months.
“Maybe we should be looking at those people who hired the managers and say, ‘it’s you that got it wrong’. Where’s their accountability?
“There’s none, because they are not in the public eye and don’t need to answer questions on a daily basis.”